THE NOSE KNOWS

Ford is trying to get rid of “new car smell” to attract Chinese consumers

Carmaker Ford is counting on a team of recruits to its Chinese research labs to help boost lagging sales in the country. They’re 18 smell testers, or so-called “Golden Noses,” charged with making sure new cars don’t smell bad. That’s because Chinese car buyers are particularly sensitive to the smell of their new cars. They place unpleasant smells ahead of engine performance or safety as their top reason for not buying a new car, according to a 2016 report from J.D. Power.

As you can see in the video above, the smell testers assess the odor of every item in the car, from floor carpets to the steering wheel, rejecting any that may offend a Chinese buyer. After all, China is the world’s largest market for auto sales, and every sale counts.

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